6.7/10
29,782
250 user 118 critic

Apt Pupil (1998)

A boy blackmails his neighbour after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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ON DISC
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Joey
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Sociology Teacher
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Nightmare Victim
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Monica Bowden
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Richard Bowden
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Victor Bowden
Marjorie Lovett ...
Agnes Bowden
David Cooley ...
Gym Teacher
Blake Anthony Tibbetts ...
Teammate
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Becky Trask
Katherine Malone ...
Student
Grace Sinden ...
Secretary
...
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Storyline

Neighborhood boy Todd Bowden (Renfro) discovers that an old man living on his block named Arthur Denker (Mackellan) is Nazi war criminal. Bowden confronts Denker and offers him a deal: Bowden will not go to the authorities if Denker tells him stories of the concentration camps in WWII. Denker agrees and Bowden starts visiting him regularly. The more stories Bowden hears, the more it affects his personality. Written by Casey Ward <ward@citizen.infi.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you don't believe in the existence of evil, you've got a lot to learn.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong violence, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aprendiz  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,583,151 (USA) (23 October 1998)

Gross:

$8,838,938 (USA) (1 January 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Dussander is arrested in the hospital, the film displays a newspaper article which reveals that Dussander was independently wealthy and lived off of a "small personal fortune", seemingly to explain how Dussander was able to live by himself with no outward source of income. In Stephen King's original written story, Dussander's wealth is explained one step further: mainly that in the 1950s he had bribed a banker in Maine to purchase several stocks and bonds under an assumed name. Dussander would later tell Tod Bowden that the banker's name was Andy and was later sent to jail for killing his wife. The banker was in fact Andy Dufresne, the main character of The Shawshank Redemption (1994) which Stephen King also wrote. See more »

Goofs

Mr. Kramer removes a "blood pressure cuff" from his arm to get out of the hospital bed. Blood pressure cuffs are not left on a patient, just used and then removed, so it should not have been on his arm. See more »

Quotes

Kurt Dussander: To have someone in your control. To have them know that they are alive only because you have not decided to the contrary. Do you have that power? Ask yourself. It's not an easy question, I think you know that.
Todd Bowden: You know this means we're through, don't you? You won't be seeing me around here anymore.
Kurt Dussander: No. I suppose I won't.
Todd Bowden: What are you doing?
[he's pouring two glasses of whiskey]
Kurt Dussander: This is the end. Here. A drink. To our lives together. The beginning and the end.
Todd Bowden: I think you should fuck yourself.
Kurt Dussander: Oh,...
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Soundtracks

Prelude And Liebestod
from Tristan Und Isolde
Written by Richard Wagner
Performed by Charles Münch (as Charles Munch) and The Boston Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy of BMG Classics/RCA Victor
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User Reviews

 
Evil Feeding Evil
26 October 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Apt Pupil is a movie of symbolism, it is a movie of metamorphosis, it is not a movie to be brushed off, taken lightly, nor is it to be watched if you want anything even remotely uplifting. It is a thoroughly depressing movie about corruption and the very root of evil. You'll find no plot summary here because you can scroll up slightly and find one. I can tell you Ian McKellen is one of the finest actors in the world and even solidifies that unlikely people like Brad Renfro and David Schwimmer can be incredible actors in their own rights. The movie poses several questions, almost none of which it answers and indeed might not have answers. It is, at it's core, about evil feeding into evil. The boy's evil reawakens the old man's evil, the old man's evil stokes the boy's evil and it continues to crescendo throughout coming to an incredible climax. A fascinating and thoroughly challenging movie.


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